I have a few questions about money in Asia, i hope you can help.
1) Is it best for me to change all my money before i get to Thailand or will I get a better rate out there.?
2) Do the cash machines in Thailand charge?
Any help in general about money would be great
Change just about 10-20 quid here for emergency use (e.g. airport, etc) and get the rest there. The exchange rates offered in SEA are much better than anywhere you could find here in the UK.
As for the ATMs in Thailand, one member reported here recently that all banks have started to charging. (see: http://www.travellerspoint.com/forum.cfm?thread=60159)
For general help about handling money whilst travelling, read the Money Matters article.
If you can I would strongly advise opening a Nationwide Flexaccount before you go as they give you the official exchange rate on withdrawals. The first year I went to Thailand I was getting approx 75 Baht per pound from my Flexaccount (and no fees) and only about 64 Baht per pound from my Barclays account (after fees). The exchange rate is much worse at the moment but the above rates are useful for comparison purposes.
Unfortunately, Nationwide recently started passing on the 1% fee for withdrawals made with a visa card, but if you get a Flexaccount without visa, and just Cirrus and Plus (which virtually all the ATMs in Thailand take) then there's no fee.
Last year in Koh Phi Phi I noticed that the purple bank had started charging for withdrawals but it was only about 20 Baht which was still a pretty good deal, and the yellow bank still weren't charging at all. Although that was in April so things may have changed since then.
1 def a better rate in thailand better still with travellers cheques i have found
2 yes 150 baht atm charge
Changing the money in Thailand will definitely result in a better rate.
Travelers checks seem to get a better rate, but are also hit with a 33 baht fee.
ATM's are now charging 150 THB, in addition to whatever your bank may charge.
There is no need to leave home with THB. There are exchange kiosks and ATM's at the airport.
Hello there. I can fully recommend taking a UK debit card to Thailand. The vast majority of Thai ATM's accept them. The rates of exchange in Thailand against the pound and Euro are better than in the UK/Europe.
I spent many months in Thailand and the debit card was the best form of getting money and paying bigger bills.